“Heirloom recipes reflect honest food that’s grandmother tested and family approved. No need for a test-kitchen for these recipes. The fact that they have been handed down through the generations is proof enough to us!” Heirloom Meals website.
There are many summer garden heirlooms- tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and okra. I grew up eating an okra recipe we called “gumbo” in which fresh okra was the main ingredient. My “black mama”, Obie Mae Wiley, was the best cook. She made sweet potato pie, fried chicken, beef stew and gumbo to perfection. Obie’s version of gumbo always had a base of chopped tomatoes, onions and fresh okra- preferably from the smallest pods she could find. The three ingredients were cooked down until the okra was tender- sometimes served over hot white rice, sometimes not. Okra was always the main ingredient in Obie’s gumbo, but sometimes she would add kernels of sweet corn and/or butterbeans. Obie added just the right amount of plain sugar to the tomato base to cut the acidic taste adding a tinge of sweetness.
I swear I watched a few minutes of the television show Heirloom Meals, but it looks like they are trying to establish funding to actually air the show. The website is interesting and has a recipe (okra is spelled “orka”in the title!) for Okra Gumbo and Hot Water Cornbread. This okra recipe is closest to Obie’s version. The cornbread looks easy and is pan fried in olive oil- something new I think the boys would enjoy. If you want a complete meal including meat, add sausage. Here is a Stewed Okra and Tomatoes recipe from Eating Well that looks good to me. I have not tried it, let me know if you do!
SECRET: I am sold on boxes of tomato products–diced, sauce, stewed and here- rustic cut. There is no metallic aftertaste as products in metal cans. I used this entire box, 2 small white onions, and about a pound of small okra sliced to make this batch of Obie’s gumbo!
There are lots of okra recipes online including roasted, grilled, and fried. I have tried all three and roasted and grilled are two of my favorites. Nothing beats Obie’s okra recipe for Gumbo though.
Do you have a favorite okra recipe?
I’d love to try it!